Joann stores are carrying this new product called chalkboard cardstock. It feels kind of sandpapery, similar to Ampersand's pastelbord. So I had to try it out.
Keep in mind that I've only doodled in pastels a few times. But this attempt did answer my question rather well. Yes, it's texture makes it good to work pastels on (with your fingers anyway).
It's thicker than most cardstock, paint and gesso rather well, and is acid & lignin free. Already on sale (half off), I used that extra 15% off coupon and got a 36 sheet pack of 12x12" for close to $8.50.
Costs less than canvas paper for painting purposes. It doesn't hurt that I got a gallon bucket of quality gesso for 14 bucks. Used a coupon for that too.